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Samsung And Apple Had Troubled Third Quarter Sales

sales report

IDC published its smartphone sales figures for Q3 and both Apple and Samsung had a weak showing, for different reasons.

Samsung sales were down by over 11m units when compared to the same period last year, almost exactly the number of Note 7 sales it would have expected to score in the quarter. Given that large numbers of the 2.5m customers who received Note 7s chose to replace it with another Samsung device, the news is rather worse than it looks on paper. Its unlikely that things will improve much in Q4 either.

Apple’s sales slowdown either reflects a shortage of iPhone 7 hardware in the short period it was on sale in the quarter, or a much harder stop for iPhone 6S sales ahead of the new device launch.

On the winners side of the card, Huawei took another large step to displacing Apple as number two in the market, almost halving the gap in unit sales. The next couple of quarters should be relatively safe for Apple, given its traditional strong sales in the holiday season. Next year could prove to be something of a problem though.

Behind Huawei, OPPO had a stellar quarter, more than doubling sales and taken number one spot in its home market of China. It halved the sales gap to Huawei. In fifth place vivo did similarly well also more than doubling sales year on year.

With the others category (containing big names like Sony, LG and HTC as well as smaller ones like Microsoft, Blackberry, Asus and Alcatel) shrinking fast, we’re approaching a time when the big five own 66% of the market. For anyone looking at scale for profit, rather than selling individual handsets at a profit, that must be a pretty scary prospect.